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Kick Off - Jurgen Klinsmann, August 10, 2011
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Kick Off: Klinsmann salary report ups the pressure

The pressure on US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has just been dialed up another notch.

The Washington Post has dug up Klinsmann’s contract details and reports that the base salary of $2.5 million is four times what Bob Bradley’s was when he was at the helm. It’s 13 times what is paid to the US women's national team’s Pia Sundhage.

Forget about the money. They just want to get to the pros when it comes to players in the college ranks. Several of the most promising pro prospects will be on show tonight for the nation and plenty of MLS coaches as the semifinals take place later today.

The fans in Alabama, where the matches will be played, will be cheering for hometown favorite Chandler Hoffman of UCLA, who says, “There's a possibility I could declare for the MLS after this season and go into the draft in January.”

The Bruins, led by former LA Galaxy player Jorge Salcedo, meet North Carolina tonight (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU), while UNC Charlotte battle Creighton in the other semi (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU). Charlotte players know they will face a Bluejays team that has 18 shutouts in 23 games and has allowed five goals all season. “We haven't played a team that defends like that all year," said one 49ers player.

The final matches of the NCAA College Cup raise the discussion of the way college programs are impacted by players who leave college early, before their senior year. "I wouldn't say soccer is as drastic as what basketball has with the one-and-done type of players," says one NCAA player.

University of Akron manager Caleb Porter announced his list of 28 players for next week’s US Olympic camp in Florida. There are 17 MLS players on the list including Jorge Villafaña. Who? That’s actually Jorge Flores, who has now legally changed his name. He explains why in this article.

Hoping to do enough in 2012 to somehow get on that Olympic list is Vancouver’s Omar Salgado, last year’s No. 1 SuperDraft pick. If you haven’t seen his amazing run that led to Corey Hertzog’s goal in the Generation adidas side’s 4-2 loss to the Ajax reserves yesterday, check it out here. We count seven Ajax players that he jukes on this play. (VIDEO)

Salgado should expect to have Vancouver teammate Joe Cannon around for a bit longer. The veteran goalkeeper says he’ll be around for a couple more years: "At least two. Then it's icing on the cake."

It will be difficult to top the Desert Diamond Cup when it comes to preseason tournaments. It will feature four teams with bona fide rivalries. How about LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake on Feb. 25 in a Western Conference Championship rematch? Or the New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy in another grudge match from the 2011 playoffs. Jay Heaps’ Revs are the other team.

Read an interview with Jay Heaps where he continues to reveal clues about how he plans to build a contender in New England.

Another team in Arizona was Mexican side Club América, who did two weeks of intense physical training in Phoenix and are now back on home soil. (SPANISH)

Not too far away in Salt Lake City, they are still celebrating Andy Williams’ retirement. In this feature piece, the Jamaican describes the locker room he is leaving at RSL: “If we lose, it’s like somebody’s puppy died. Guys just hate losing. Guys like Kyle Beckerman can’t handle it. If they lose, they come off the field and want to fight.”

Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak discussed his new signing, Costa Rican Josué Martínez, in a media conference call held yesterday. “He gives us a fast player who can stretch the back line … and he is very good in the air as well,” Nowak said. He also said he wants to make three or four more moves before preseason camp starts.

A report in Costa Rica says that the Union will be playing against Saprissa in a 2012 friendly as part of the Martínez transfer.

Another Eastern Conference side, Toronto FC, will have a new owner later today as media giants Rogers and Bell have purchased a controlling stake in MLSE. The news was made official this morning.

The LA Galaxy’s Chris Birchall says he is yet to agree to a new contract and a return is not guaranteed: "I've loved my time at LA Galaxy. LA Galaxy is a great club but I will see what offers come from back home in England before making any decision on my future."

The future looks good for Tigres UANL, who are looking to end a long drought without a title. They took a 1-0 aggregate goal lead in the Mexican finals by defeating Santos Laguna on the road. Watch the highlights here. (VIDEO)

In TV action today, Hertha Berlin will take on Jermaine Jones' Schalke 04 in a Bundesliga match that can be seen on ESPN Deportes (2:30 p.m. ET).

Lastly, as we get ready for the La Liga clásico between Real Madrid vs. Barcelona this weekend, enjoy this neat graphic by Marca which details every jersey the teams have ever worn against each other. You’re guaranteed to enjoy this.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Was Brad Friedel right about Landon Donovan? The ExtraTime Radio crew picks apart the US legend’s comments.

Zarek Valentin relishing Dutch adventure with Generation adidas squad

The Throw-In: Rongen leaves lasting legacy at American Samoa

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